What Does GoSwim Do to Protect Your Child?

Video sharing and online communication can be a scary topic for parents of young swimmers.  GoSwim’s sharing platform was set up with education and security in mind.

The GoSwim platform was designed to comply with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, or COPPA.  This means that there are certain safeguards in place that will help protect your child as he or she uses the platform.  This includes the initial sign-up stage, as well as all communications between coach and swimmer as they use the platform for pre-workout education and post-workout review.  Below are a few examples of the safeguards used by GoSwim to help protect your child.

facebookGoSwim uses Facebook Comments for people who want to post a comment under a video.  We do this for two reasons: 1) Facebook is also COPPA compliant, which means that no one under age 13 should be in the system.  2)  Facebook does not allow anonymous posting.  We feel people won’t make inappropriate posts when they can be easily tracked back to their Facebook account.  While no system is perfect, we do monitor every user-generated post on our platform.

We know not everyone likes Facebook, so if you have questions or concerns, we’ve tried to make it easy for you to get in touch with us from Twitter, via email, or by clicking that little question mark in the lower right-hand corner of every page in our subscription side of the platform.

The GoSwim platform allows for a coach to invite a swimmer to create a GoSwim account.  When the swimmer creates an account, the coach can then share videos from the GoSwim platform to the athlete.  The coach can also film the swimmer with the coach’s smart phone or camera, and upload the video into the GoSwim platform for post-practice review by the athlete and parents.  These coach-filmed videos are called Deckshots in our platform.

No individual under the age of 13 is allowed to create their own account.  This means that the parent must set up the account, and then either show the email notifications that come from the coach to their son or daughter, or forward the notification to the child’s email.

If the parent of an under-13 year old swimmer wants email notifications to go directly to the swimmer’s email, the parent must still set up the account using the parent’s email.  The parent can then change the email in the system to the child’s email.  As a protection, the email that the coach sees will still be the email of the parent who set up the account.  The child’s email is not seen by the coach, but the email notifications will go directly to the swimmer.

reportasIf there is a video that the swimmer or parent deems “inappropriate,” there is a button under EVERY Deckshot that allows you to mark that video as inappropriate.  The video immediately disappears from the swimmer’s account, disappears from the coach’s account, and GoSwim is sent a notification to review that video.  If the video seems appropriate, we’ll contact the swimmer’s parents for confirmation or explanation.  If the button was clicked by mistake, we’ll reactivate the video.  If the video is clearly inappropriate, we’ll alert the proper authorities (the FBI and USA Swimming in the United States) to take further action.

Deckshots are private.  They are not public and can not be seen outside of the individual’s account or outside of the Training Group account.  They are not sharable, or publishable anywhere else.   While the coach does have the ability to share a Deckshot among multiple, or all Training Group members, they are not seen by the outside community.

Deckshots are ultimately controlled by the athlete.  While copyright for a video is typically owned by the individual or company that films a video, for coaches who upload Deckshots into GoSwim, control of that video switches over to the athlete.  If the athlete has a video assigned individually to them, they can choose to delete that video from the platform.  Keep in mind that GoSwim has no control over video content that the coach films and stores on his or her own server.

When a coach shares a video with the Training Group, the video (and any message attached to the video by the coach) is sent to the entire Training Group.   GoSwim designed this feature as a safeguard for children.  Typed messages from coach to individual swimmer do not exist in our platform.

GoSwim takes child protection very seriously.  We have worked hard to create the best possible platform for delivery of swim-technique education.   We allow coaches to share technique with their swimmers before practice, to film swimmers during practice, and to share those videos with the swimmers after practice.  In today’s social-driven world, we have to take into consideration how swimmers receive their messages, view their videos, and communicate with each other.  Because so much of this happens on mobile devices, we have to build protections into our platform to make this communication simple, and safe.

Thanks, and we hope this helps you understand the steps taken by GoSwim to help safeguard your child while they use our platform.  If you have questions or concerns, please contact us.

Thanks for choosing GoSwim!